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After being perennial title challengers in recent seasons, Barnsley are setting their sights on going one better in the Premier Division of the North East League this time around.
The club will now be playing their home matches at Oakwell and things have started well with eight-goal victories in each of their opening two league games. Barnsley striker Rebecca Hale told Women's Soccer Scene that it has been a promising start so far.
"Everything came together for the first game of the season," she said. "The move down to Oakwell, which is now our new home ground, as well as recruiting new players over the summer and gaining new player and team sponsors. The win over Scunthorpe gave us the motivation to continue the momentum in the match away against Tynedale the following week, which again resulted in an 8-0 win.
"Hopefully the two wins under our belt will be a common theme each week. We are playing away against Boldon this coming Sunday, who are a new team in this league, so it will be a tester for us."
Rebecca, who is also the club Secretary, is also delighted with the progress the club has been making off the pitch during the summer. "There has been some significant changes to the club, in particularly our new link with Barnsley Football Club," she enthused. "Our club as a whole (all junior teams and both senior teams) all now train down at Oakwell on the 4G pitch and the senior teams all play their home games down there as well. The facilities are great and we appreciate their support in developing and moving the girls and women's side of the sport forward.
"Both senior teams have had an influx of new players this summer, therefore both teams are both bigger and stronger, making the starting eleven selection tough. The new players have joined at the right time to add that extra bit of quality to the team, as a result this has had a positive impact on performance and makes players having to fight for their shirts.
"Having won our first two matches, we are confident on gaining another three points this Sunday away against Boldon. The week after will be one of our toughest matches against Brighouse Town."
The big question tough is, can Barnsley break down the door after banging on it for so long and win promotion to the Premier League - is there a feeling amongst the players that this could be their year? "That's correct," replies Rebecca. "We have maintained the standard of the club in this league for several years now.
"It's a tough league to get out of with only one team gaining promotion each year, a couple of points behind and it costs you the league. However at the moment we have everything in our favour and have a lot to be positive about; with the new link and move to BFC and with a stronger squad this season, we are working towards the goal of becoming league champions and taking each week as it comes, in order to achieve that."
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